To the students of Mrs. Parham’s class,
I thank you all very much for your kind words of appreciation and encouragement. I joined the Marine Corps in 1991 to do something with my life, to remove myself from a place that was full of bad influences and to better me and my life.
Some of you asked what I did in Iraq. That is a hard question to answer. I went over and did my job. I tried to ensure that all the Marines that I deployed with returned home with me. I had several responsibilities and duties. I could tell by your letters you all know that the armed services are there to protect your freedom, but we do more than that. We protect the freedom and rights of all Americans everywhere in the world; we also protect the rights and freedoms of people who are oppressed by their own governments and terrorist organizations. We all volunteered, and after boot camp, we all know what is expected of us. The military holds its service men and women to a higher standard. It is a standard that makes each of us stand tall and hold our heads high no matter how hard the conditions may be.
Some of you expressed a desire to join the military when you can. If I could only give you one piece of advice it would be this: Continue your education. The military is becoming smarter and more technical every day. We have unmanned aircraft that are flown in Iraq and Afghanistan by a person who is in Arizona; we have equipment that requires smart, educated people to operate and maintain it. Please think about your futures. A college education is needed in the work force of today and in the military of tomorrow. Please go to college and then consider the military. If you do join the military first, ensure you take advantage of some of the benefits you will rate and continue your education.
In closing, I thank each and every one of you for the kind words of encouragement that you sent me. I will be sending your letters to a friend who is currently in Afghanistan. I am doing this so that some of my other friends know that they are appreciated and people do care about the military and what we do. God bless you all and Semper Fidelis.
Respectfully, Franklyn E. Metz